Monday, December 22, 2008

Oh Panettone...Oh Panettone

Recently I was reading about Christmas food traditions and the subject of panettone bread came up. The writer compared the Italian panettone to the familiar American fruit cake. That's not a bad comparison except for one detail. Panettone is absolutely fantastic and fruit cake is horrible.
Being a bread snob I've had many fantastic artisan breads laced with nuts and dried fruits but that thing that is labeled as fruit cake and sold at stores this time of year in an abomination. It's neither cake or bread. The only thing it can claim is being awful. I'm sure there are people who might bake their own fruit can and I would expect those to be better. However the store bought version needs to be banned.
On the flipside is the store bought panettone. The history can be found here . For those who have not tried pannetone you're really missing out on what can be a fantastic holiday addition. It's a very tedious and time consuming process to make panettone from scratch due to it's unique dough. That's what makes the great quality store bought version such a great thing.
Panettone resembles if a brioche and sourdough breads had a baby. Then you added wonderful candied citrus to the party and then dried raisins. It's great sliced and served with your beverage of choice or you can take my approach which is to layer it with a chocolate hazelnut and mascarpone cheese filling. Slicing the panettone and layering it with the chocolate mixture. Picture in the future of the finished product.

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